Happy Pancake Day! Happy National Pizza Day! Happy Paczki Day! With so much food being celebrated today, it’s no wonder they call it Fat Tuesday. I know I’ve eaten way too much already. If you’re in New Orleans (or elsewhere), let me also wish you a Happy Mardi Gras. So much to celebrate in one day. Along with that is yet another fresh edition of Pick Your Poison, complete with download highlights from Flower, Glass Spells, Libel and Low Cut High Tops. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from The Chainsmokers (ft. Daya), Essaie Pas, Flatbush Zombies, HWLS x Ty Dolla $ign, HXLT (ft. Kathleen Hanna), Giola, Jim-E Stack, Kevin Gates, Mogwai, Rich Homie Quan and Sheer Mag.
Ah, the start of a new week. Not exactly the most fun day, what with plenty of work still ahead, but let Pick Your Poison help soothe those blues. There’s some strong downloads in this set from Deer, Ladada, Mr. Bones and Von Zimmer. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Acid Dad, A$AP Ferg, Caveman, Ezkiel, FEMME, Gllant (ft. Jhene Aiko), Katy B x Craig David x Major Lazer, Niki & The Dove, Porches, Prince Rama and tiny deaths.
Let’s jump right in with the mid-week edition of Pick Your Poison, shall we? Make sure you check out free downloads from Allie X, Flower, LZRS TXN and Pillow Talk. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Bent Shapes, Givers, Into It. Over It., Kane Strang, Kedr Livanskiy, Kevin Gates (ft. Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign & Jamie Foxx), Prins Thomas, Purling Hiss, Young Thug (ft. Quavo), Yuck and more.
It’s Groundhog Day, and if you believe in the power of a rodent to predict the weather, there’s good news ahead. In short, it looks like we’ll be getting an early spring. Of course thanks to El Nino spending the winter here in the U.S., that’s not terribly difficult to believe. Temperatures have been on average higher than normal around much of the country, and snow less frequent, despite the occasional blizzard. So after my complaints about February yesterday, so far this month is 2 for 2 in terms of good days. Let’s keep that trend going, shall we? In today’s Pick Your Poison, don’t miss downloads from AMERIA, KINGDOMS, Masayoshi Iimori and Vincent Colbert. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from DAWN, Gun Outfit, Howard, Islands, Lushlife x CSLSX (ft. Ariel Pink), Porches, Shit Robot, Sioux Falls, Terribly Yours, Throwing Shade, Twin Peaks and WRITER.
Welcome to February, a month that I typically regard as the worst of any year. My disdain for it has virtually nothing to do with Valentine’s Day or President’s Day or any other pseudo-holiday scheduled. It’s more of a weather-related, overall misery sort of feeling that permeates the month so much the calendar makers even cut a few days out so it’d only last 28 days. In 2016 we get 29 thanks to leap year rules. But who knows, maybe it won’t be so bad. It’s nice to be hopeful whenever possible, so I’m choosing to believe the days ahead will all be winners. Pick Your Poison is helpful getting things started right, with a solid set of tracks that include downloads from Federal Lights, The Head, Idalee, Sharks In The Deep End and Wanderwild. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from AMTHST, Carter Tanton (ft. Sharon Van Etten), Earl Sweatshirt, Flume (ft. Vince Staples & Kucka), Katy B x KAYTRANADA, Lushlife x CSLSX (ft. Freeway), Miguel (ft. Travis Scott), RYAN Playground, Summer Flake and Susanna.
Woof. Did you devote any attention to that Kanye West/Wiz Khalifa feud that happened on Twitter this afternoon? It was a doozy, at least from Kanye’s perspective. See, Wiz had been cracking a couple of lighthearted jokes about Kanye changing the name of his album from SWISH to WAVES, and then commented about “KK” which Kanye interpreted as an attempt to hit on his wife, Kim Kardashian. The thing was, Wiz was referring to a certain strain of weed with the nickname “KK”. Anyways, the confusion caused Kanye to go on a tweet rampage where he viciously insulted Wiz over and over again while simultaneously complimenting his style choices, particularly when it comes to pants. The whole thing was a bit dark but also very funny in hindsight. If you’re interested, check out the full play-by-play here. Now then, let’s dive right into a fresh mid-week edition of Pick Your Poison to enjoy while wearing stylish pants. Don’t miss downloads from Ashley Shadow, Chet Faker, Jesse Marco and Reina del Cid. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Amber Arcades, A$AP Rocky (ft. Pharrell), Ash Koosha, B Boys, Big Black Delta, Champion + Four Tet, Frankie Cosmos, Littler, Mind Bath, Operators and School of Seven Bells.
Happy Tuesday! We’re past Monday, and that’s worth celebrating. Please enjoy this fresh edition of Pick Your Poison, replete with quality downloads from GETOVERHER, Laura Jean Anderson, Lazy Legs and Rois. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Beach Baby, Beverly, Cousin Stizz, Father John Misty, John Congleton and The Nighty Nite, Lissie, Nap Eyes, The So So Glos, Wavves and more!
Hope everyone on the East Coast is doing okay following that massive blizzard that hit over the weekend. Feeling particularly fortunate to be in Chicago where El Nino has made it a remarkably dry (and slightly warmer than average) winter so far. January has actually been somewhat bearable. If you’re stuck still digging out from 2 feet of snow, maybe some new music will help heat things up a bit. Make sure to check out some quality downloads from Eric Taylor Escudero, Flower, Mynth, Young Greatness and more. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Allan Kingdom (ft. Chronixx), The Coathangers, DIIV, Fatima Al Qadiri, Japanese Breakfast, Moro, Polica, Public Access T.V., The Range, Tourist and Wild Nothing.
Wishing warmth and safety to all my friends and readers on the East Coast this upcoming weekend as a massive snowstorm heads your way. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times already, but don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to! That’s actually good advice for anyone experiencing less than ideal winter conditions. Curling up on the couch with a good movie is one of the few things that can’t be beat. Maybe listen to some new music while you’re at it, too. Pick Your Poison can help with that, as always. Enjoy downloads in this set from Chrome Sparks, Foxtails Brigade, Mykki Blanco and Say No! to Architecture. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from AlunaGeorge (ft. Popcaan), Designer + Four Tet, Different Sleep (ft. Angelina Lucero), Future, Linden, Majical Cloudz, Mt. Si, Radiation City, Samantha Urbani (covering Rexy), Tinashe (ft. Juicy J) and Underworld.
Last night, I had the privilege of catching one Mr. Bruce Springsteen, live in concert. If you’ve not had the chance to see the man along with the E Street Band, I strongly recommend checking it out. Granted, the Boss isn’t exactly a small independent artist on the rise who could use the support. He’s got millions upon millions of fans worldwide, and only plays stadiums. But unlike most “legacy” acts that have been around for a few decades, there’s been very little dip in quality with the show Springsteen puts on. Similar to Paul McCartney, he barely breaks a sweat as he cranks out hit after hit for 3+ hours, even taking the time to crowd surf and dance with audience members. The man may be in his mid-60s, but most musicians half his age would probably have trouble keeping up with him. I’m not even a die hard fan, but can’t deny the awesome power he and his band bring to the stage. You get your money’s worth, and that’s more than I can say about most artists. My sincere hope is that one of these Pick Your Poison artists can create a career as long and as vital as Springsteen’s. There are some promising choices in this particular set, so don’t miss downloads from Best Friends, Bike Thief, Shapes on Tape and Usurper of Modern Medicine. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from AURORA, Charlotte Day Wilson, Flume (ft. Kai), Guerilla Toss, Holy Wave, Kane Strang, Kanye West (ft. Kendrick Lamar), Posse, Purple Pilgrims, Radical Face and School of Seven Bells.
After taking a brief holiday on Monday to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., Pick Your Poison is back in action with a fresh edition packed to the gills with quality new music. In this particular set, you’re not going to want to miss downloads from Adam Lempel, Ben Pearce, Jon Patrick Walker and Warning Light. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Babe Rainbow, Lionlimb, Lushlife x CSLSX (ft. Killer Mike), Lust for Youth, Mayer Hawthorne, MORLY, Oscar, Saul Williams, Ski Lodge, Whitney and Your Friend.
The Academy Award nominations came out today, bringing a dash of much-needed excitement into this rather humdrum week in January. Not that there were a lot of surprises or snubs, though the Academy’s refusal to recognize the film Carol in the Best Picture and Best Director categories feels like an oversight. The same goes with minorities as we’re looking at the second year of #OscarsSoWhite. Anyways, even though this is a music site, I’m quite the movie buff in my spare time, to the point where I saw 200 films last year and 85% of them were 2015 releases I watched in an actual theater. I’d like to think that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to movies – more than most people. That’s not meant to be a brag, just trying to provide some context for my opinions and why I have them. The grand point here is that you absolutely should check out all of the films that were nominated for Oscars this year, because honestly they’re among the best of the best. Can’t really go wrong with any of them. But if you catch some of them and want to share your opinions somewhere, feel free to in the comments section. We can have a vigorous debate if you’d like. Let’s jump into the final Pick Your Poison for the week, shall we? There are quality downloads in this set from Allies For Everyone, Chris Storrow, Mick Jenkins and Pleasant Grove. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Amber Arcades, Big Ups, Field Music, Into It. Over It., Lane 8, Memoryhouse, Shearwater, She-Devils, Tiga and Yuck.
Your mid-week Pick Your Poison contains a whole bunch of quality new music for you to enjoy, particularly in the Soundcloud section. But as far as downloads go, you should definitely not miss great cuts from Alpenglow, Flower, Lunice, Swaying Wires and Ursa Major. From a streaming perspective, after the jump you’ll want to check out songs from Bent Shapes, Charlie Hilton, Dilly Dally (covering Drake), Erykah Badu (remixing/covering Kanye West), Florist, Fort Romeau, Holy Esque, Mairead Green (ft. King Creosote), Woods and more!
Happy Tuesday. Chicago is in a deep freeze right now, which isn’t very fun. Allow me to provide some much needed warmth courtesy of some hot new songs. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Flatbush Zombies, Gladiola, Relick and The Romantic Era. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Anderson .Paak, Anna Meredith, DJDS, Mogwai, Philco Fiction, Pop. 1280, Prince Rama, RUFUS DU SOL and Wyland.
Major Tom. Starman. Ziggy Stardust. Aladdin Sane. The Thin White Duke. The Man Who Fell to Earth. The Man Who Sold the World. These are but a few iterations and personas of the man born Davy Jones but best known as David Bowie. Over the course of a 40+ year career, he became known as a creative genius, innovator and all-around unique individual who in some ways changed what it means to be human. Late Sunday night that force of nature, an inspiration to millions, left this planet a mere two days after his 69th birthday. According to a brief statement from his family, Bowie passed away peacefully surrounded by his family after an 18 month battle with cancer. Very few people knew he was ill, so the news came as a genuine surprise to just about everyone. It gives his final album Blackstar, released on his birthday, extra depth and meaning. Unlike the rest of us, he knew this was coming and chose to spend his final months recording an excellent collection of songs that meditated on death. Given how many of his other albums and songs reflected on the same topic, nobody really suspected anything was amiss at the time. Now we know that he was saying goodbye, and one of his final acts was in service to fans. That really shows what kind of person Bowie was, creative until the very end.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, you’ll read, hear and see plenty of tributes to David Bowie from fans, friends and family. I’ve been sharing some classic quotes and photos over on Twitter and Instagram if you’re so inclined to check those out. It’s wonderful to see how far and wide his influence spread, and comforting to witness the outpouring of love by those who truly identified with his unique sensibilities. As many have already said, Bowie showed us it was okay to be your true self no matter your age, race, gender, sexual orientation or general proclivities. Never let anyone or anything stop you from living your truth, as you see it. “Turn to face the strange,” as the chorus of “Changes” goes. So I’m grateful to Bowie for that and a host of other important life lessons learned through his music, acting, fashion and overall presence here on Earth. All of it continues today and into eternity, as people will continue to uncover and embrace his legend. If you’ve not yet explored the world of David Bowie, now’s as good of a time as any to start.
Of course you may also want to check out some brand new music from other artists, and Pick Your Poison has you covered there. Don’t miss downloads from Black Twig, Hardwell, Right Hand Left Hand and They Call Him Zone. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from The Arcs, dvsn, Harriet, Little Green Cars, Mavis Staples, Michael Nau, Sonya Kitchell, Timbaland (ft. Aaliyah & Strado) and Wet Ones.